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Who Died In The Walking Dead Midseason Finale?

The Walking Dead season 9 signed off for its midseason hiatus with a shocking main character death. Jesus, the reluctant leader of Hilltop, was killed during an encounter with a new kind of enemy: The Whisperers.

To figure out how one of the show's toughest fighters could have been taken out by a walker (or at least, something that looks like a walker), let's backtrack a little. In the midseason finale, "Evolution," Jesus went out on a rescue mission with Daryl and Aaron to find Eugene, who had been left to hide in a barn by Rosita after injuring his knee. While out on the search, the gang noticed a walker herd behaving strangely: milling around in a circle, rather than stumbling ever-onward in the usual manner.

Related: The Walking Dead: 9 Unanswered Questions From The Midseason Finale

When they caught up with Eugene, he revealed that the strange behavior wasn't isolated. Though he had been carefully stashed away in the barn, the walker herd hadn't moved on. Instead it had been combing the area over and over, searching for him, and Eugene said that both he and Rosita had heard the undead actually whispering to one another. In lieu of another explanation, Eugene theorized that the walkers had started to evolve and even recover some of their cognitive function, allowing them to communicate with one another and plot out strategies for hunting down humans. With the walkers catching up, the team came up with a new plan: Aaron and Jesus would go on with Eugene, while Daryl would stay behind to redirect the herd.

Unfortunately, despite making a cacophany of noise (with a little help from Dog), Daryl was unable to distract this new, apparently evolved herd. The walkers continued their pursuit of the others, eventually chasing them towards an appropriately spooky graveyard, riddled with fog. A small hole in the wall served as a chokepoint, slowing the walkers down somewhat, but the team found themselves trapped in the graveyard when the gate refused to budge. As they worked to get it open, the walkers gathered around them... and horrifyingly, the whispering that Eugene had talked about started up again.

At first it seemed like the day was saved when Michonne, Magna and Yumiko arrived on the other side of the gate. While they worked to get it open, Jesus tried to hold off the walkers in the unusual way. However, when he went to take a swing at one of them, the walker dodged his attack with very human reflexes, grabbed Jesus, and stabbed him through the torso, pulling him in to whisper, "You are where you do not belong."

Jesus was the only character killed off in the midseason finale, but the others were left on a rather terrifying cliffhanger. Having gone in to the graveyard to retrieve Jesus, they found themselves surrounded on all sides by "walkers" (who we now know were actually living people wearing the skins of walkers to disguise themselves). The Walking Dead season 9 has so far been surprisingly light on deaths, but given this new development, things could get very bloody when the show returns next year.

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